On the 5th of February after a 2-1 defeat to Levante, Real Madrid were 13 points behind Atletico and Zinadine Zidane said “It’s not over yet we’ll keep fighting we won the league last season not 10 years ago show us some respect”
Fast forward two weeks and after Casemiro netted a second half winner for los blancos to complete four wins on the bounce they are just three points behind their bitter rivals,Albeit they’ve played a game more but after that win their chances of back to back titles for the first time since 06-07/07-08 are very much on,It could have been a different story but for a superb double save from Thibaut Courtois.
The injuries are stacking up for Madrid with striker Karim Benzema recently added to an injury list which includes captain Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard, Marcelo and Dani Carvajal. With free scoring Atalanta up next Zidane is keen to get some of his players back.
“At the moment the situation is what it is. We’ve got a lot of players out. We’re hoping to get some back, I don’t know if they’ll be back next week, but we’re going to get some players back. At the moment we’ve got a lot out and that’s what we’re dealing with. We have to play with what we’ve got available and everyone is doing well and is committed to what we’re doing”
Atletico Madrid’s recent wobble in form has opened the door for their rivals as they fell to a first defeat in 12 league games and a first home la liga defeat since December 2019 after losing 2-0 at home to Levante.
The La Liga leaders have taken only five points from four games in February. Jose Luis Morales gave the visitors the lead on the half-hour mark with a deflected strike from just inside the area to deceive goalkeeper Jan Oblak.Diego Simeone will be worried about his seemingly bulletproof defence has look a lot more vulnerable since the turn of the year,Atletico had only conceded five goals in their opening 13 La Liga games compared to 11 in as many games since.Jose Gimenez limped off on Saturday too which won’t help matters.
Barcelona can’t be forgotten either,A win at home to Cadiz will leave them just six points adrift of the top and after being embarrassed by PSG during the week they are likely to exit the champions league so they will have no distractions in the latter stages of the season.
Either way the race is heating up in Spain and what looked like a stroll to the title for Atletico has now turned into a sprint over hot coals.